Heta Uma

IDEA: Heta Uma is an online / print publication focusing on outsider manga and art. “Heta-uma” means “bad but good” in Japanese, and the phrase was created to describe the underground manga scene in Japan, starting with the magazine GARO in 1970. There are many styles of manga, and many more art-making strategies that exist today that are less than conventional. Just as conventions have to be established by groundbreaking works, conventions need also to be broken, and new movements grow. The heta-uma era not only contains many genre-defining manga, it also cleared the way for new innovations, and dramatically expanded the horizons of that manga could be. This movement, and its modern branches needs a home, this home is heta uma.

CHALLENGE: This publication must walk the thin line between ugly and inviting. The movement iself is defined by this unpolished look that somehow still manages to be charming, convention and confusion– converging.

EXECUTION: A publication that both stores and re-releases the decades of heta-uma style manga, while also keeping a keen eye on its influence and trajectory in modern manga. Along with this publication, there would be an annual convention, called “UNCON” where original prints, merchandise, zines and smaller print publications can be bought and sold, along with hosting panels from new and old manga artists.